Testing & Vaccine Updates

Sep. 2, 2022.  It's great to see everyone back in school and excited about learning.  To help you and your family stay healthy, here are some infectious disease updates for your consideration....

If Unable to Vaccinate or get a Booster:  Please continue to discuss eligibility questions with your Health Care Provider, seek boosters when eligible for waning immunity, provide written religious exemption or medical exemption notes for Dept. of Public Health (DPH) -  required immunizations for schools, and note the recent FDA announcement about the Bivalent COVID Vaccine Booster with eligibility criteria.  Visit the MA DPH Vaxfinder Site to find COVID vaccine sites and the CDC Vaccines.Gov for Influenza vaccine info near you.  Monitor this update page for announcements about local vaccine clinics.

Check out the Northampton Health Dept. Covid Vax Clinic Site for info about scheduling your new Bivalent COVID Vaccine Booster effective September 12.

Review the DPH Immunization Requirements for school and note extra requirements for entering grades K, 7, and 10.

If Seeking Info about Home Test Kits:  Today (Sep 2),  the federal free iHealth Self (Home) Test Kits distribution program has been officially suspended.  Continue to monitor this site for any changes.

Hatfield Public Schools will be sending home FREE iHealth Covid Test Kits via Backpack in upcoming days.  If you do NOT wish to receive a test kit, please eMail your Building Nurse (listed below) to Opt-Out by no later than Sept. 22.

The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has recently extended the iHealth Home Test Kit expiration dates.  Please check the lot# with this FDA IHealth Expiry List.  In general, test kits originally scheduled to expire in July are now valid through January, 2023.

Have a happy and healthy school year.

Jean Hobbie, School Nurse Manager / HES Nurse                        Martha Elliott, Smith Academy Nurse

jhobbie@hatfieldps.net                                                                   melliott@hatfieldps.net

PS:  As a reminder, the State Covid Testing Program for schools ended in June.  Routine "pooled" surveillance safety checks are no longer available.  HPS School Nursing has applied for local certification to offer symptomatic rapid antigen testing as needed in school and will send an update when this is available.